Learning Technology Program Hosts Talk on 'Virtual Conferences'

LaChel Hird from Larson Allen, Kathy Shields from Wells Fargo, and Susan Weedman from United Health Group will speak on “Virtual Conferences” at the Digital Learning Forum’s monthly presentation on Monday, Feb. 13.The presentation and discussion will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 117, McNeely Hall. Guests can arrive at 6:15 p.m. to network with other professionals in the Twin Cities area; the event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.


With globally located teams on the increase and travel budgets on the decrease, the need for virtual conferences is greater than ever. A panel of experts will share their experiences in setting up and hosting virtual conferences in their organizations.

Information to be covered

  • Why host a virtual event?
  • Who are the providers available?
  • What goes into the event?
  • Main entry
  • Auditorium and speakers
  • Booths
  • Social networking connections
  • Related content to download into an attendees “briefcase”

How virtual events are being used

  • LarsonAllen
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Wells Fargo

Best practices for hosting a virtual event

  • Lessons learned



Hird leads the LarsonAllen Learning and Development Team as it develops, plans and implements learning initiatives that support the firm’s strategic direction. Additionally she is responsible for the overall strategy and direction for Learning and Development and Human Resources to ensure that people and career development initiatives support LarsonAllen’s strategies for people, leadership and culture. Hird is known as a leader for getting things done while working with and through others. She has a passion for helping others develop their talents and leadership capabilities. She enjoys working with leaders who are looking to build their business areas, implement new ideas, and develop their staff and succession plans.

Shields was the learning and development manager for technical learning at Wells Fargo for the past nine years. She led the first virtual conference within Wells Fargo to give team members access to possibilities for the technology environment of the next five to 10 years. She also incorporated information shared by the leading technology companies that participated in the exhibitor booths and studied their vision of the future of technology. Shields has a background in IT and learning, and she has worked in the educational publishing and financial services industries. She lives in Bloomington, Minn., and enjoys traveling and collecting wine.

Weedman leads Talent Development Infrastructure at UnitedHealth Group, where the mission is to Help People Live Healthier Lives. She has a passion for career and leadership development, mentoring and performance consulting. She recently launched “UMentor” where all 90,000 employees at UHG have access to mentor-mentee relationships via an online tool – a highlight of UHG’s “Career Development Week.” Weedman’s background is in IT and human capital in manufacturing, transportation and the retail industries. She lives in Minneapolis near the lakes and loves cooking and spending time with her husband and three kids.


The Digital Learning Forum’s monthly presentation and discussion is sponsored by the Master of Arts in Technology for Learning, Development and Change, and the Graduate Certificate in E-Learning program in the Department of Organization Learning and Development at the University of St. Thomas.